RUST Tool Cupboard: Offensive Capability

My tool cupboard is safe, and I can breathe again.

The offline raid

You know that insults will be thrown, but you’re not doing anything hundreds of others don’t do every night in RUST. You’ve farmed, kept your head down, prepared your resources, and scouted your target. The rest of the team is on. You’ve checked Battlemetrics to confirm that your last neighbor just logged off for the night, and you’re ready to begin the raid.

Cautiously, the scrap helicopter touches down, and the plan is executed. Lookouts are in position, rocketeers are in place, and the demolition begins. But for your hours of preparation, foresight, and planning, the base is yours within 5 minutes, and the tool cupboard privilege is yours. The raid is over.

The morning after

It’s a harsh reality, this. You knew what you were doing, and your neighbor had woken up at an outside bag, shouting profanities and venom at you from outside your walls and in general chat. You are branded an “offliner,” and nothing you can say or do will change this perception to those who honestly care. 

You were careful, concise, and ruthless; everything you need to be in RUST to succeed. You are left as the temporary victor on a chessboard with one fewer enemy piece.

Quiet reflection

Maybe there was honor or respect to be gained in waiting to do the raid while the opposing team was online. Your insight, foresight, and action could have yielded the same result regardless of their defensive strategy. 

There is no use dwelling on the current situation; what’s done is done. But what factors ultimately lead to these ideal outcomes? 

You were there when the target base was constructed, so you knew where the TC was, and knowing that they didn’t have a battery backup for their turrets made the MLRS barrage that your team used super effective. How could this raid, or others like it, possibly go any better for your team?

The best offense

Planning Tool Cupboard Placement is Critical

The concepts discussed range from good baseline practice to more advanced scouting and knowledge techniques. We’ll also look at tips and tricks for you to deploy to increase your odds of successfully raiding (online or offline) your target base. 

This guide is not meant to give you the false hope of thoroughly raiding bases beyond your scope and resources. There isn’t a force, trick, or magic wand around that can suddenly turn your four banked rockets into 40. 

The tools and knowledge are taken from within the community to mitigate defensive enemy base features and maximize your potential profits within the context of the raid by knowing the simple mechanics of tool cupboard privilege and using them to your advantage.

Tool cupboard authorizations

The words building privilege, building blocked, and authorized get thrown around in RUST guides, but you rarely get clear-cut definitions of what these terms mean.

To possess building privilege, or “priv,” as most call it, you must have been in front of a specified bases’ tool cupboard and pressed the E key when prompted while it is unlocked.

Once complete, you become “authorized,” or “authed” for short. Unlike other entities, such as Auto Turrets, players cannot be authed to a tool cupboard by proxy.

This is an incredibly important, sometimes overlooked, tidbit within the RUST community; knowing who is authorized to your bases’ tool cupboard and determining if they should have that type of power over its destiny.

Once you understand the tool cupboard basics, it becomes clear why this is so important. 

Sneaking Onto An Authorization List

It isn’t inconceivable, particularly on wipe day, that you could happen upon a placed but unguarded and yet unlocked tool cupboard, say on an ice lake. 

Teams often ‘claim’ their base locations before having adequate building materials, and a quick enough player can gain access to these structures and gain tool cupboard privilege.  

A greedy man would strip the tool cupboard bare of resources, a hateful man would add a lock to it, but the smart man instead authorizes himself and vanishes before anyone sees him.

From that moment on, the base owners have no reason to believe anyone but them has authed. They will put up their traps and defenses and utilize offset bunkers without knowing. 

The same smart player can come back days after the base owners have invested time and deposited goodies. Instead of the shotgun traps firing, this player can walk right past them. Instead of the embrasures and windows keeping players out, the smart player can remove them again.

Sure, he has to blow a few doors, but when you can utilize a base’s physical defenses to guard you as you raid from the inside, leaving that wood and stone you found in the TC days before suddenly seems like a genius investment.

And to those of you to which this has happened, just a friendly reminder; lock your tool cupboard immediately. If you can’t afford a lock, you’re not ready to deploy it yet.

Tool cupboard placement

Setting Up Tool Cupboards on an Ice Lake

While situational, for larger raid targets, having a close, convenient and secure raid base is absolutely mission-critical. Without a proper staging point and defenses, even the most seasoned breach team is a DB grub away from losing it all.

This staging point is where placement, particularly enemy tool cupboard placement, comes in. When raiding a base, it is essential to note the design before the first rocket flies. 

If the base is a simple, single TC design, positioning your raid base as close as possible with at least two escape paths is ideal. When extensions jet out from the enemy base to extend privilege, it is vital to find the most tactically-sound location, if not closest to the base, then the most visually sound in every direction.

However, when the enemy utilizes outside TCs, completely detached and walled in or sealed off, this is an opportunity to eliminate two birds with one stone. 

The standard, external standalone TC is often a single stone triangle foundation with a TC placed inside it, with enough upkeep to last the duration of the wipe. This TC is either walled entirely or has a window added for upkeep purposes.

RUST’s tool cupboard system operates from the little-known ‘Grandfather’ system. The server tabulates TCs in the order in which they are placed (chronologically). This way, if you start your base and someone builds near you, your TC will take permission precedence because it is the elder of the TCs, having a first placement.

Often, TCs that are walled in behind stone do not get locked, as the extra 100 metal fragments simply isn’t a priority for an entity that no one will presumably ever access. 

On a split tool cupboard base, gaining control of an outside TC (without breaking it) and then raiding the main base can sometimes allow for complete base control without raiding each external TC. It would be more of a luck-of-the-draw proposition unless you watched the outer TCs being placed. 

Take action one step further and use the external raided TC as the starting point of your raid base. If you were lucky enough to raid a ‘Grandfathered’ TC on your first try, you could utilize this building privilege to remove defenses around it, such as traps and windows. 

Even if the Grandfathered TC is destroyed, a new TC placed on the same foundation afterward will re-apply its grandfathered status because the foundations are part of the earmark system. This makes opening offset bunkers later that should cost you 8 C4, basically free. 

No one describes this concept better visually than GameLightz, so we encourage you to check out his video for a more articulate game rendering. Check out our base design content partners for more details on working different bunker styles into your next base build.

Entity & foundational TC relevance

It’s happened to all of us – we get into a few scuffles with a neighbor and start drafting plans to raid them. But then life happens, things come up, and plans get delayed. By the time we have enough boom stored, a scouting report of the base indicates that it has portions decaying, and the rivalry is over before it heated up.

But hold the phone. Only part of the base is decaying. They may have forgotten to put enough metal in the tool cupboard. Maybe they were raided and griefed? How is this relevant? Let me explain.

Tool cupboards and the way they allow for decay once resources are gone is best thought of as peeling away the layers of an onion. Entities that utilize a resource, like doors take metal, are often the first things to show decay from the outside. Followed by these, the layers furthest from the TC are next. 

Suppose you have a hammer, and the base is small enough. In that case, you can usually identify which foundation the TC is on simply because it will have more health than any other similar material foundation.

Once you understand how to determine where the TC is based on the decay rate, you can proceed with your original raid idea, only far more informed.

Bonus tip:  pay attention to door frames when raiding in this way, as most people will upgrade walls and the roof to higher quality but leave double doorway frames stone. Sometimes they’re even accidentally left thatch and can be broken with a few bullets. Whoops.

“Outside” consideration

Without overcomplicating things, sometimes a raid base or taking over an outside TC just aren’t in the budget. One more primitive, time-consuming, but more economical method of negating outside TC coverage is simply breaking the foundation closest to the interweaving external TC. 

This tactic assumes that there aren’t other frames that are helping extend the outer TC privilege inward, but if there aren’t, soft-siding a single foundation block can negate an entire exterior tool cupboard’s anti-grief function.

Conversely, suppose you have taken over the Grandfathered outer TC and the main base. In that case, you may use its privilege to build near less relevant outer TC structures, such as custom gatehouses which may or may not contain boxes and lockers, and use your supreme privilege to take off window embrasures and other such entities for free bonus loot.

Smaller scale application

While much has been said about split TC, multi TC, and compound tricks and tips, let us not forget the importance of the TC within smaller bases. Take, for instance, the common practice of ‘going deep’ on something like an un-honeycombed 2×2.

Getting in, breaking bags, and gaining control of TC are paramount to success. However, if you had to break the TC, your job isn’t entirely done yet. Getting a new TC down is of absolute importance, giving you (or potentially a quick-thinking base owner) the end-all victory in this situation. Raiders that get TC, even if closed in, can limit access to it, move loot, and come back later to utilize things like Drop Boxes to transfer loot safely.

Also handy is the capacity to build, upgrade, and later (within 10 minutes) demolish (with a hammer) temporary walls until you can make doors to secure the raid properly. Never underestimate the importance of this control. Some players would rather grief their bases than see you get away with their loot.

Final thoughts on tool cupboard offensive capability

As a general rule of thumb, planning out all raids ahead of time is crucial to maximizing protection for your boom and the loot you intend to swipe. 

We encourage everyone to sit down with some youtube videos and explore the world of RUST raiding. Many great tactics come from understanding building tricks, so don’t exclude them from your lesson plan.

Please keep those suggestions and begrudgingly witty comments coming back to us directly in our Discord. We love hearing different perspectives on this and all other topics. It keeps us thinking.

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About No Limit Llama

An aspiring woodworker and web designer. Father, husband, and Rust veteran. Llama has written op-eds and official game documents for over two decades. The earliest writings were on Asheron’s Call, followed by World of Warcraft and eventually Rust. The vast majority of his indoor time is spent running Rust servers or helping friends with their Rust-related projects. He enjoys working around the house, continuing his education when time permits, and creating new processes to simplify activities of daily living for his friends and family. He has an incredible wife, a dog, three children, and one granddaughter.

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